Earlier this month, Huawei introduced the Huawei Watch GT 4 series. Two smartwatches got introduced as part of it, 41mm and 46mm models. The former is more catered to women based on its design and size, while the latter is a proper, large smartwatch. They look entirely different. The 41mm variant is circular with different lugs, while the 46mm model has an “Octagonal Design”. I’ve received a sample of the larger watch from Huawei, and have been using it for about two weeks, which gave me some time to properly review the Huawei Watch GT 4.
Having said that, I really ended up loving this watch. Huawei did a great job overall, and I even see it as an improvement over the Huawei Watch 4 Pro, which I reviewed not long ago. That is, for the most part, subjective, but every review is. The 41mm model of the watch shares the same features, basically, so everything outside battery life and design applies to that watch too. In any case, let’s dive in and see what this sporty, and yet classy-looking watch has to offer.
Table of contents
Huawei Watch GT 4 Review: Hardware / Design
If you’ve used any of Huawei’s newer smartwatch offerings, you’re aware that the company tends to use stainless steel as the main build material. That’s the case here as well, which is a good thing, of course. I’m not sure what display protection is used here, but Huawei’s higher-end watches use sapphire glass, so it’s possible that’s what we may be getting here. I didn’t manage to get a single micro-scratch on the display glass in two weeks, though that was the case with basically every Huawei watch I’ve used, so… no surprise there.
It looks much better in person
I have to be honest, when I attended a pre-brief for this watch, and saw the renders, I was very skeptical of its design. It really didn’t look good. When the watch arrived, however, and I unboxed it, I was very surprised. It looks great in real life, actually. The octagonal design is very tame, and it’s still a circular watch, for the most part. It actually stands out this way, without looking odd or out of place. It’s also thinner than I thought it would be, especially coming from the Huawei Watch 4 Pro.
This watch is lighter and thinner than the Watch 4 Pro, and still feels great to wear, and has some weight to it. To be more specific, it weighs 48 grams without a strap. There are two buttons included on the right side, and the top one is also a rotating crown. That button feels great to navigate the watch, and it has great feedback too. The buttons are also quite clicky, so no issues there. Also, due to their placement, I had no issues with accidental presses.
Overall, the watch offers a great build, but that’s something we’re used to seeing from Huawei, so no surprises there. In terms of overall design, this is easily one of my favorite watches from the company.
You do get a wireless charger in the box, which is permanently attached to a cable. On the other end you’ll find a Type-A USB port. Now, I’ve received the ‘Gray’ variant of the watch, which comes with a stainless steel strap. I did, however, receive a silicone strap too, but it was packaged separately. So I’m not entirely sure if one will be included in the retail box or not. I did end up using that silicone strap the whole way through, as I’m not a fan of metal watch straps, even though Huawei makes some really nice ones. I did try out the one that comes pre-installed on the watch, and it’s very comfortable, and has an unlocking mechanism Huawei users are used to by now.
Huawei Watch GT 4 Review: Display
The 46mm variant of the Huawei Watch GT 4 that I reviewed, comes with a 1.43-inch display. The one on the smaller model is smaller, but it’s the same display. We’re looking at an AMOLED panel here, which is flat. It offers a resolution of 466 x 466 pixels, and on this watch that is the equivalent of 326 PPI. The display on the Huawei Watch 4 Pro was a bit odd due to the curvature, which created some unnecessary reflections outdoors. With this display, that’s not the case, it’s actually almost perfect. Displays on smartwatches don’t get much better than this.
The colors are vivid, and the viewing angles are great. The blacks are also deep, and the display does get bright enough. I don’t have the exact details on the brightness, but I was able to use it outdoors without a problem. The touch response is great, as I’m used to when it comes to Huawei’s higher-end watches. On top of that, the gesture for the display to turn on when you flick your wrist towards your face also works brilliantly, every single time basically. So no complaints in that area either. All in all, this display is excellent.
Huawei Watch GT 4 Review: Performance
We’re not sure what chip is included here, but it’s possible Huawei is relying on the Kirin A1 once again. Regardless, the performance is top notch. During my two-week usage, I never felt like the watch lacked power or anything of the sort. In fact, it flew through everything I threw at it. There’s only so much you can do on a watch after all, so… yeah. The UI was very smooth, and the apps opened fast and without any lag. There was a skipped frame here and there, as is the case on any device, pretty much.
We’ll talk about the actual software in a separate section, and the same goes for health features. But overall, in terms of smoothness, responsiveness, and animations, there’s really nothing to complain about. I’ve had a similar experience on many other Huawei watches over the last couple of years, and the same is the case here. Also, based on previous watches, this won’t change anytime soon.
Huawei Watch GT 4 Review: Battery
Huawei decided not to reveal the battery capacities included in the Huawei Watch GT 4. However, the company did say that the watch can keep you going for up to two weeks. Of course, as it’s the case with every other smartwatch, that will largely depend on what you’re doing with it. Can you stretch it out to two weeks? Well, I’d say that’s possible, yes, but do keep in mind that you’d need to disable the always-on function, and all continuous measurements to reach that level, most likely. I haven’t really went there, as I had to test the watch, so I fired it up on all cylinders, basically, well… I didn’t use the always-on display function.
Getting to two weeks of use on a single charge is possible
Now, with rather intense use, I was able to get over a week’s worth of battery life with it, without a problem, I had to charge it after 9 days, approximately. Needless to say, that’s great. Quite frankly, I’m convinced you can go up to two weeks with it. Huawei’s smartwatches in general have great battery life, and especially the company’s Watch GT series. Do note that I did use the GPS for my walks and bike rides, a continuous heart rate measurement, sleep tracking, and every other health measurement I could enable, basically. I also received tons of notificatons during the day, used quick replies, used the watch to control my podcasts and music, and more.
When it comes to charging, you’ll do that wirelessly, via the included charger. The watch magnetizes to that charger. That charging puck is connected to a cable, permanently, and on the other end, you have a Type-A plug. The charging is not blazing fast, but it’s far from being slow, as the battery is not large.
Huawei Watch GT 4 Review: Software
The Huawei Watch GT 4 comes with HarmonyOS 4 pre-installed. That is Huawei’s very own OS, and it works great on this watch, to say the least. I already talked about how smooth the performance is, well, that is worth mentioning again. The animations are fast and smooth at the same time, and everything just runs as it should. HarmonyOS also improved a lot since Huawei first pushed it to its watches. Do note that you’ll need the Huawei Health app in order to connect the watch to your phone. You cannot download it via the Play Store, though. You’ll need to get AppGallery (Huawei’s app store application) from Huawei, install it on your phone, and then download Huawei Health from there.
If you’ve used previous versions, you’ll be right at home here. Your main screen is the watch face of your choice. On the left side, you get access to ‘Smart assistance’, which are essentially a bunch of widgets laid out vertically. I usually keep my music and weather widgets here, for quick access. On the right of the main screen, you can add widgets, one per screen. So you can basically a bunch of them and simply swipe through them. If you swipe from the top down, you’ll get access to quick toggles, while swiping from the bottom up will show you your notifications. Tapping the top-right button opens up your app menu, while tapping the bottom-right button activates a shortcut you’ve set. It’s basically standard procedure for smartwatches these days.
Notifications work brilliantly, though different than what you’d get on Wear OS watches
Your notifications are nicely separated into cards, and you can swipe them away individually, or all at once. You can also set up quick replies, or reply via emoticons. On the Huawei Watch 4 Pro, a reply via a keyboard was also accessible, and we’re sure that possibility will come to this watch too, soon. That being said, do note that when you remove a notification from the watch, the same won’t reflect on your phone, unlike what you get with Wear OS, for example. I love that, as I can remove notifications from my watch, and then act on them from my phone later, as I never reply from my watch. There are people who love having their actions mirrored, though, so… to each their own.
In regards to watch faces, HarmonyOS 4 improved them quite a bit. Now you can edit them, basically, but not all of them. The ones you can mess around with are highlighted in the menu, both on your watch and phone. On some, you can change the theme (color), and on others you can even change specific elements, to create tap areas for different actions. Some watches show you an icon when you have new notifications, and so on. That’s quite an improvement compared to HarmonyOS 3.
HarmonyOS 4 was very realiable, and I had no problems whatsoever
I didn’t have problems with HarmonyOS on the Huawei Watch GT 4, not at all. It performed exactly as I expected it to. It is fluid, responsive, and bug-free. It’s my favorite OS for watches out there. If you do love having tons of third-party apps installed on your watch, then this may not be for you. You can download apps, but the selection is not that great. Still, most of you won’t find the need to do that, as everything you may want comes pre-installed. Ranging from a music player to a navigation system. Also, you can connect Huawei Health to Strava too, for example, without having Strava installed on your watch.
Huawei Watch GT 4 Review: Health/Fitness
The Huawei Watch GT 4 is packed with fitness features, to say the least. It has an optical heart rate sensor, a temperature sensor, a barometer, and every other sensor you’d expect, really. It can measure your heart rate 24/7, and the same goes for your skin temperature. Sleep breathing awareness feature is also included, and the same goes for automatic stress tests and automatic SpO2 tests. Sleep tracking is also a part of the package, of course. On top of that, the watch can also remind you to get up when you’ve been sitting for over an hour, which also helps with overall health, believe it or not. Luckily, that is easy to disable if you find it annoying. In fact, every single one of these features can be disabled, if you choose to do so.
Heart rate tracking has been improved
How well does all this work, though? Well, really good, actually, at least everything that I was able to test. Let’s start with the heart rate sensor. I didn’t exactly wear a second watch to compare, but based on my previous experiences, and the situations I found myself in during the day, it seems to be accurate. That was especially visible during a few workout sessions I threw in there. Also, it should be more accurate in colder climates now, but I was not able to test that, as it’s still summer here. Sleep tracking, on the other hand, was more accurate than on the Huawei Watch GT 3, but it was still not spot on. Do note that it never is, however. I have trouble sleeping, so gadgets like this have a hard time keeping up with me, basically. Stress tracking also surprised me, it was quite accurate.
Health sharing is a useful feature to have
Another really useful feature that is worth noting is health sharing. If more members of your family are using a Huawei Watch, you can be notified if problems occur. For example, if your mom’s or dad’s blood pressure skyrockets, you can be notified of that. That is, needless to say, a very useful feature. Luckily, I did not end up in that situation, but it’s always good to have, especially if your loved ones have health problems. Blood pressure was just one example, any health metric that the watch can measure will be taken into account.
There are a ton of sports you can choose from here
What about sports tracking? Well, there are tons of sports modes included on the watch. It’s actually shocking how many of them are here. Ranging from indoor and outdoor running, and basketball, to darts and fishing, believe it or not. If you’re planning on doing any sort of activity that requires movement and tracking, chances are it’s on this list. I’m not kidding, even eSports is on the list, if you’re a heavy gamer. The watch will also reward you if you complete various exercise goals, which may push some of you to actually do that.
Huawei’s Health Clover feature is also back, and it will keep track of your health during the day. It will keep track of how much you’ve moved around, of your breathing, activity in general, stress levels, and much more. There’s also a nice widget made for that purpose that you can use on the watch, and it’s there from the get-go, actually. What about GPS? Is it accurate? Well, yes, it is. It’s not perfect, however, but then again, nothing is. Sunflower tracking is now a part of the offering, and other than missing on reporting on which side of the street I am for a second, the tracking was fine. It did get confused for a second and made it look like I crossed the street when I didn’t. Other than that, it was quite accurate and reliable, and also picked up the GPS signal quite fast. Once again, considering the similarities between the two GT 4 watches, what I said here applies for the smaller model too.
Huawei Watch GT 4: Should you buy it?
Is the Huawei Watch GT 4 worth buying? Well, I’d say yes, definitely. It’s not a cheap gadget, but when I take a look at the price tags of some other watches on the market, I’d easily go for this one. The Huawei Watch GT 4’s pricing starts at €249 for both models. For the 41mm version it goes up to €299, while the 46mm model’s price goes up to €349. There’s a lot to like here, to be quite honest. The watch feels really well-built, it’s very comfortable to wear, and it’s thin. Despite the fact it’s thin, its battery life is great, and it has plenty of fitness and sports options. It works great in day-to-day performance, and the software has matured a lot. Wireless charging and charger are included, and much more. There are a couple of downsides here, but generally speaking, the Huawei Watch GT 4 is excellent.
You should buy the Huawei Watch GT 4 if you:
– Want a great-looking smartwatch that is not too bulky
– Need a big, bright and vivid display on your watch
– Appreciate a rotating crown and clicky buttons
– Hate crappy battery life on most smartwatches
– Love wireless charging
– Tend to work out frequently
– Swim with your watch
You shouldn’t buy the Huawei Watch GT 4 if you:
– Need plenty of third-party apps on your watch
– Make in-store payments with your smartwatches